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Talking T Bone Burnett’s Vast Influence On XRT’s Sound

Reading the just released book, “T Bone: A Life In Pursuit”, by longtime Chicago music journalist Lloyd Sachs, I was reminded how big T Bone’s role has been in the music played on XRT over the past 30 years.

As an incredibly prolific and gifted producer, T Bone has worked on such XRT staples as the Bodeans debut “Love And Hope And Sex And Dreams”, the Los Lobos breakthrough “Will The Wolf Survive?”, Elvis Costello’s “King of America”, Counting Crows “August And Everything After”, The Wallflowers “Bringing Down The Horse”, and the landmark Robert Plant and Allison Krauss album “Raising Sand”.

With his Midas touch in the studio and background as a musician and songwriter, T Bone helps artists discover the best side of themselves to record and in turn lifts them to their greatest artistic heights.

He also has been credited for inventing “Americana” for his groundbreaking and hugely successful soundtrack for the Coen Brothers film, “Oh Brother, Where Art Though?”

Sachs’ critical of appreciation of T Bone’s contributions to music, his passionate advocacy of analog sound and the contradictions that define his sound are all laid in a very readable and informative style.

XRT’s Bill Cochran (who provided archival material for the book) and I recently sat down with Sachs for a wide ranging discussion of T Bone and his influence on American music across four decades.


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